The case: Transforming teacher training in Tanzania and Australia
In the Babati District in northern Tanzania, parents know the power of education to transform lives. But too many children aren’t able to go to school, because their families can’t afford essentials like school uniforms and books. Many are not able to progress their education at secondary school, and miss a golden opportunity to fulfil their potential, work their way out of poverty and be part of a bright future for their country. Inspiring, fully-trained teachers can make all the difference, but in this district there just aren’t enough. A lack of funding and a rapid growth in student numbers means schools and other institutions are struggling to train quality teachers in the numbers they need.
On the other side of the world, children in Australia also need rounded, grounded and inspiring teachers who can push them to grab the opportunities that come their way. At the University of Wollongong, we seek to give our trainee teachers real-life experiences that broaden their horizons and test their preconceptions. We are committed to developing skilled graduates who are passionate about changing lives through education – and they can only do that if they see for themselves the transformative power of learning in action.
The University of Wollongong’s Faculty of Social Sciences is working together with So They Can, an Australian not-for-profit organisation which has established a teacher training college in Tanzania, to give children living in poverty the chance of a better future – and to broaden the skills and experiences of teachers in Australia, too.
With your support, we will create a two-way Inspiring Teachers program between the University of Wollongong and the Mamire Teacher Training College in Tanzania. Every year, up to ten of our education undergraduates will travel to Tanzania to work alongside and learn from up to 60 recently graduated volunteer teachers in Babati district. It will give both sets of participants the opportunity to learn and practise alternative classroom techniques from different parts of the world, at both primary and secondary level. Our students will learn new skills and perspectives from head teachers, community groups and college tutors, which they will use in their future teaching careers. In Tanzania, the teachers taking part have the potential to change the lives of some 5,200 school children.
Today, we are seeking philanthropic investment of $15,000 per year towards the cost of travel and accommodation, and to give our students the teaching resources they need to make a positive difference to teachers and children in Tanzania.
This project will create far-reaching impact for teachers in Australia and Tanzania and the children they teach:
- Recently graduated teachers in Tanzania will gain confidence, skills and knowledge to improve their lessons and inspire more children.
- More children in rural and regional schools in Tanzania will be taught by quality teachers from the teaching college. In the long-term, more children will continue their studies at secondary school and have the opportunity to build a better life for their families and communities.
- University of Wollongong students will become better, more rounded teachers, with first-hand knowledge of how education changes lives. They will learn from real-life teaching experiences in Tanzania, such as how teachers manage large classes of 100 with limited resources and still make a positive difference to their students. They will open their minds to different ways of doing things, developing a world view invaluable to their future careers in a diverse, global marketplace.
- Both sets of participants will learn how to communicate with and learn from others who do not share the same culture and language, helping to break down barriers between societies and build bridges in an increasingly divided world.
Our track record
- The University of Wollongong was ranked the best university in Australia for teacher education in 2017, by the Federal Government’s Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching.
- We are nationally recognised for our innovative pre-service teacher education programs, and have long-standing international links in teaching, research and professional experiences.
- This teacher program has already received philanthropic support from our alumnus Paul Harris, founder and CEO of VIBE Teacher Recruitment. This gift will fund the first cohort of students from the University of Wollongong.
- So They Can’s Mamire training college has trained 203 teachers since 2014, and is already having a big impact on the lives of children in Tanzania. In 2016, the education department committed to placing 79 Mamire graduates in local schools.
“Our partnership with So They Can is all about empowering children and their families to break the poverty cycle through education. Our students get to see first-hand how education is a partnership, one that extends from learning in the classroom, to the school food gardens that produce the daily hot lunch to the sporting field. By partnering our students with a volunteer teacher graduate in a primary and secondary school in rural Babati, Tanzania, everybody learns and benefits from sharing knowledge, stories and moments of engagement. It opens up our collective social horizons”.
Professor Glenn Salkeld, Executive Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences
Please contact Renee Burton for more information or to discuss how you can help UOW make a difference.
Phone: 02 4221 8113